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Austin Pets Alive! helping Hays County build new animal shelter

APA! will oversee the creation of a new complex that will relieve the San Marcos animal shelter from overcrowding.

AUSTIN, Texas — An Austin-based animal shelter will oversee the creation of a new complex that will relieve the San Marcos animal shelter from overcrowding.

According to an announcement from Hays County commissioners, Austin Pets Alive! will help with the development, operation and management of the "Pet Resource Center."

The center will provide veterinary service, alternative housing options and field services.

The planning phase begins April 3 and will focus on recommendations for locations, budgets, policies and operations to Hays County.

According to commissioners, Austin Pets Alive! will research land options and guide the County on a location for the Pet Resource Center that is accessible and centrally located to serve the most people and pets. The organization will also be responsible for developing an operation plan and budget.

Sharri Boyett, an animal advocacy advisor appointed by Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra, has been working with Hays County to bring the agreement to fruition.

“This Pet Resource Center will provide services to keep pets in their homes as an alternative to owner surrender,” she said. “We will lead Hays County toward reforms in the ways we care for homeless animals, emphasizing animal protection and lifesaving goals.”

The shelter will serve dogs and social cats with programs for pet retention assistance, lost pet reunification assistance and adoption and holding. Community cats will enter the Pet Resource Center for sterilization and vaccination only through a trap/neuter/return or shelter/neuter/return program, Hays County commissioners said.

“Hays County is leading the way for the entire country on a new way of serving the families in their jurisdiction,” Dr. Ellen Jefferson, president and CEO of Austin Pets Alive!, said. “We know that pets are family to 90% of Americans and to see a government recognize that, and act upon it, is innovative and inspiring.”

The Pet Resource Center is expected to be completed within three years.

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